March 28th, 2010

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Because nothing is as fun, fun FUN for the U.S. as its relationship with Israel.

The current contretemps in US/Israel/Palestinian relations is insanely complicated and very unlikely to produce satisfactory results for anyone. The recent urging by Syria and Libya for the PA to return to "armed resistance" is just the latest example of a dynamic in which there is no right move for anyone.

In this case, the problem for Israel, and therefore for the U.S., is that the PA has spent the last year doing everything on their "to do" list. Understandably, they expect some pay off. At the same time, the Israeli government, for a variety of reasons, cannot actually comply with key Palestinian demands. This is a problem for the U.S., because the ability to force Israeli compliance is, as the U.S. is discovering, difficult. Steps considered in the west as extremely strong pressure on a long-standing ally are considered weak tea and excuses for Palestinians and the Arab governments in the region. But the PA, at least for the moment, understands that its current diplomatic advantage (and economic well-being) hinges on keeping violence to the "street riot" level (at least in those territories it controls).

Some more behind the cut.
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